Bottle Shock, a highly amusing film from 2008 featuring a well-cast Alan Rickman, introduced moviegoers to the concept of blind wine tasting. Based on actual events, the climax of the film occurs when an American wine from California scores higher than a haughty French wine during a blind horizontal taste test.
You can use some numbered bags...or just wrap bottles in wrapping paper.
Tasting wines without looking at the bottle--or the cost--and relying on your own experience to rate a wine is an enjoyable challenge. Blind tastings like this can be extremely enlightening. What is often surprising, at the end of such a tasting, is discovering the actual price of each wine tasted. I have attended blind tastings and have seen wines with low taste ratings sold at prices well above what they deserved. On the other hand--and this is always a delight--I have rated wines very highly that were priced much lower than one would expect. Needless to say, stocking up on gems like these is always advisable! (And may we suggest a nice wine cabinet or custom wine cellar to keep them in?)
Blind tastings are also a terrific way to learn about your personal preferences. You are not being influenced by preconceptions based on rating, price, or bottle logo (the ones with animals on them get me every time!). Because of this, you’ll often encounter a good wine you would have passed by on the shelf! In addition to broadening your horizons, blind tasting is simply fun. If you haven’t attended such a tasting, find an event in your area or better yet, host your own! The experience is more than worth it.